By Mike Pomranz
Updated September 04, 2014
Credit: iStockphoto

If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to text a friend an emoji of a taco and then realized that there is no such thing, you’ve felt Kelsey Rexroat’s pain. But you probably never felt so passionately about it that you decided to go on an all-emoji diet.

Rexroat, a writer for The Atlantic, recently found herself lamenting the lack of logical food emoji—those little pictures like smiley faces and sailboats that are supported by most texting services. Unicode Consortium is the nonprofit organization that controls standard emoji with an iron fist, and as of the most recent update this past July, about 1,000 of the Unicode characters exist. Yet, by Rexroat’s count, a mere 59 of them are food-themed.

In an effort to expose the seeming randomness of the foods enshrined in emoji, Rexroat decided to embark on a one-week diet, eating only foods that she could text on her iPhone. Goodbye, tacos!

What did she learn? Well, those who prefer to eschew sweets and other carbs probably want to avoid mimicking her experiment. She writes, “This diet is essentially the opposite of Atkins. Of the 59 food emoji, eight incorporate rice and 11 are desserts.”

Additionally, the set of icons is particularly heavy in Japanese items like ramen, oden and sake—which makes sense since emoji originally hail from Japan—but the choices leave many American standards, such as the sandwich, off the menu.

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about food emojis at The Atlantic. Then show your support for an avocado emoji by following the Twitter account of this avocado emoji avocadvocate, because, yeah, that exists. Kissy face, pig nose, no entry sign.